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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4
PHOTOGRAPHY

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

Blu-ray Review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS: 121 minutes, audio commentary, two featurettes, Avengers: Age of Ultron exclusive look, gag reel, deleted scenes

VIDEO: 2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO: English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, French-Canadian Dolby Digital, Latin Spanish 5.1 DD, English 2.0 DVS DD

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

 

STUDIO: Marvel Studios

Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 8-1-2014 (preview showings 7-31-2014)

Blu-ray/ DVD RELEASE DATE: 12-9-2014

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STARRING Chris Pratt (Peter Quill), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Bradley Cooper (as the voice of Rocket), David Bautista (Drax), Vin Diesel (as the voice of Groot), Lee Pace (Ronan), Karen Gillian (Nebula), Michael Rooker (Yondu)

Screenplay by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman

DIRECTED by James Gunn

Based on the Marvel Comics series by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is the most fun Marvel Studios movie since Joss Whedon’s THE AVENGERS.  It manages to blend space opera, humor, and plenty of Easter eggs for diehard Marvel Comics fans who know the Guardians in the Galaxy and Marvel Cosmic Universe.   This is one big Marvel movie about a band of outcasts who come together to save a world from Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace).   GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY introduces viewers to many new worlds and characters as this is the first movie (apart from the THOR movies) that really explores the Marvel Universe beyond the Earth adventures of many of the Marvel characters, but it also manages to reference back to other movies that feature elements that may become important in a later movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  

 

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) was abducted from Earth by the alien Ravagers when he was a kid on the day when Peter’s mother died in 1988.   26 years later, Peter (also known as Star Lord mainly to himself) goes to the abandoned world of Morag to steal a mysterious orb artifact when he runs across soldiers working for the evil Kree warrior Ronan the Accuser (who believes the truce between the Kree and Xandar is offensive and he struck a deal with Thanos to retrieve the orb and Thanos will destroy Xandar).   Realizing he has been double crossed, Yondu (leader of the Ravagers) puts a bounty on Quill’s head which leads a couple of bounty hunters (the genetically modified raccoon Rocket and the tree creature Groot) to try to capture Quill at the same time as Gamora (Zoe Saldana) tries to supposedly get the orb for Ronan.   Peter Quill, Rocket, Groot, and Gamora end up being arrested by the Nova Corps and imprisoned in the space prison called the Kyln.  They hatch a plan to break out together when they discover Gamora has a buyer for the orb in the remote outlaw outpost of Knowhere.   Along with Drax the Destroyer (David Bautista), they are pursued by Ronan and his soldiers as the group must decide what they should do with the orb and maybe even save the universe in the process.

 

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY manages to do something that many origin movies fail to do as it rightfully balances telling the origin of how these morally loose criminal characters came together and a story that might play into the bigger scheme of what Marvel, Joss Whedon, and James Gunn have planned for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.   Thanos makes an appearance in a couple of scenes after his brief cameo during the end credits of THE AVENGERS and the Collector (Benicio del Toro) also appears again after his end credits appearance in THOR: THE DARK WORLD.  Both of these characters are very interested in the Infinity Stones as a few of the previous Marvel movies have used some of the other Infinity Stones as a major part of the plot (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, THE AVENGERS, and THOR: THE DARK WORLD).  With rave reviews and a big opening weekend, the announced sequel’s place has been secured as I wonder if the third AVENGERS movie will see the Guardians and the Avengers crossing paths as the next few movies will continue to lay the groundwork for the Infinity Gauntlet story.   Go see this fun space opera and maybe even go see it twice.  I can’t wait to see what James Gunn does for the sequel which he is currently writing.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Audio commentary with writer/ director James Gunn has him talking about developing the movie through the script and edit in addition to spotting out actors he loves to use again and again.

 

GUIDE TO THE GALAXY WITH JAMES GUNN- a look at creating the visual look of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY in this 21 minutes featurette from the world building to the characters that features interviews with James Gunn and the cast along with all of the Easter Eggs he put in the Collector’s museum.  A great behind-the-scenes look at making the movie especially a look at the third act

THE INTERGALACTIC SPECIAL EFFECTS FOR GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (7:11) which looks at the visual effects that used to create Groot and Rocket with behind-the-scenes reference of James Gunn acting out Groot’s walk and a real raccoon they used for reference for Rocket

 

Exclusive Look at Marvel’s AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (2:17) which gives a brief behind-the-scenes look at the AVENGERS sequel with interviews with the crew and director Joss Whedon

 

Five deleted and extended scenes which add extra characters moments cut for pacing reasons

 

Gag reel which has a funny dance battle between the actors

 

Trailers for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, Marvel Phase One, Ultimate Spiderman, Marvel cartoons on Disney XD spot, and more.   No trailers for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY on the disc though.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  GUARDIANS FO THE GALAXY is a fun space opera and one of Marvel’s best in addition to being one of my favorite movies of this year.   I wish they included more making-of extras on the disc and I miss the Marvel One Shots.

 

This review is 12-6-2014 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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